January 13, 2006 -- In reasons released late Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, Toronto Regional Senior Justice Warren Winkler ruled that the mad cow class action involving approximately 100,000 Canadian cattle farmers against the federal government and Ridley Inc. will continue.
The class action lawsuit alleges that the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis, the closing of the U.S. and other international borders to Canadian cattle and beef and the loss of billions of dollars by the Canadian cattle industry, was the result of gross incompetence on the part of the Canadian government and negligence on the part of feed manufacturer Ridley Inc. The damages claimed are in excess of $20 billion.
Justice Winkler dismissed a motion brought by lawyers acting on behalf of the federal government and Ridley Inc. (Canada) to strike out the cattle farmers' claim. The motion to dismiss the claim against Ridley Corporation Limited (Australia) was granted.
The claim contends that the federal government was negligent in enacting, or failing to enact in a timely fashion, regulations with respect to permissible ingredients in cattle feed. The government enacted a ruminant feed ban, which went into effect in October 1997, in response to recommendations by the World Health Organization and a similar ban in the United States which was effective in August 1997.
Reprinted in part from CNW Group